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This Week in Northern California

Series/Special. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)




San Francisco, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Channel 74 (525 MHz)






America 14, Samsung 9, California 8, Apple 4, Colorado 4, San Francisco 4, Yee 3, Chevron 3, Richmond 3, Us 3, Laura 2, Yul Kwon 2, Steve 2, Romney 2, Davis 1, John Kostecki 1, John Harwood 1, Beare 1, Leland Yee 1, Freemont 1,
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  PBS    This Week in Northern California    Series/Special.   
   (2012)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    August 10, 2012
    7:30 - 8:00pm PDT  

northern california." i'm yul kwon filling in for belva davis. we have tom vacar and josh richman and laura sydell with us. tom, the fire at the california refinery was absolutely enorm s enormous. what caused it? >> they know what caused it. a leak in an 8 inch pipe started to grow. whether you are brewing this fuel and this is a device that actually creates feed stock for gasoline and diesel. it is brewed at a temperature way in excess of its ignition point. once it makes contact with the air, it smells air and says time to burn. it started burning and burning. what happened was, it got worse and worse and worse and it incinerated the facility to the point where although chevron
will not talk about it, it is likely to be down for one to three months. it has had a huge impact on gas prices. as of early this morning, okay, the statewide average is $3.99 a gallon. that is up 16 cents from a week ago. san francisco is at $4.07 and san jose is up 14 cents. that's this morning. i drove by gas stations this morning with higher prices this afternoon. they can raise them throughout the day. as a result, we are seeing a price spike that is twice what we have seen last week in the entire country as it relates to other issues that may be involved in this, including a bit of this. we have a significant thing going on here. we don't know. a lot of the gas that is going to be higher prices in the gas stations, some of it is still in tanks waiting to be shipped.
in a few days, we will see a huge spike in prices. >> how long do you think that will last? is this a short-term effect or long-term price increase? >> it will be significant this month. we are still in the summer driving season. come labor day, there is a bit of abatement in the fuel we use. the problem is when you think of what we lost here -- the chevron richmond refinery is the largest fuel consumption in the state. we have to import that fuel to make up for the lack. that is more expensive fuel because we have to import it. it is a higher priced fuel. the question is, will it be 18 cents or 20 cents or 30 cents? we don't know that yet because we are not seeing what the market will say about that. >> as distasteful as higher prices, what is the
environmental fallout for the people in richmond? >> i think the problem here is we don't know what the real consequences of it are. we do know that there was a huge plume of smoke that went up pretty high in the air and blew across richmond and east bay hills and into the east bay beyond that. we know there will be two kinds of things. we know there will be the fumes and all of that and that is something very hard to determine at this point in time. then there is the particulate fallout which is bad for your lungs and it gets down on other things in the food supply and all of that stuff. we don't know what all of that means just yet. we do know that this is an accident that by any standard should not have happened. you can have accidents at refineries. this was a big one. >> that is the question. this seems to happen periodically over a number of years. what is the excuse? i heard there were people lining up to file lawsuits against them. will they have a claim?
>> some will have a claim. i think some will have losses and they can say they are not well and did not go to work. some will have hospital bills to show. will there be a certain number of people like katrina to try to ride that pony and try to get that money out of them? sure. that is not going to be the thing we should focus on. what we need to focus on back again is the fact this ever happened at all. this is a major emitter of pollution here in the bay area. that is one of the prices you pay for living in the bay area. we have a big airport that pollutes. we have refineries that pollute. utilities that pollute. not enormously like they used to, but they are the major points of pollution, including cars, which is the largest source of all. the reality is, there will be lawsuits and a lot of things will be shaken out. what is interesting is that chevron has laid beare.
they will not go in without an investigator. we will learn a lot of things. chevron will have to live with that. sadly for it, it happened in the hometown in richmond. >> thanks, tom. we hope you keep us updated on what happens. another disturbing story this week. the deadly shooting by a white supremacist at a sikh temple in wisconsin is bringing attention to the guns. we will discuss the latest gun control measure debated at the state capital. first, we share from the sikh leader that the shocking crime is the latest against the community since 9/11. with more than 9,000 members, freemont is one of the largest sikh temples in california. people are in shock and grief for those involved in the
shooting. >> we are trying to hold prayers every morning and evening. >> it's very heart wrenching when we have to go through these episodes as a community. kids ask us point blank, what happened? after 9/11, most of the muslim appearances stands out. only because we look right. i think our effort as a community is to do more outreach with our neighbors and go through education mode and we expect that the government also pro-actively helps us to prevent these hate crimes. they never get that coverage. had this been a single guy shot in a community, it really brought the issue to the
forefront. >> the shootings at the sikh temple and the recent shootings in the colorado movie theater have renewed the debate of gun control. state senator leland yee has introduced a bill to clamp down on guns. josh, california has the most strict ban on assault weapons. why does senator yee feel it is inadequate? >> there is a loophole. senator yee introduced this in may. this is a bullet button. the law as it exists says that magazines that can be removed by a normal push button as would ordinarily would happen with other features like a telescoping stock are already banned under california law. the law essentially requires that magazines be fixed in the gun or require a tool to remove or replace them in order to slow
down the reloading process. what some gun manufacturers started doing was to sell kits to modify the button to use the tip of a bullet or a magnet that you pass over it, thus, using a tool. it can be done in seconds. you put the kit on and change the magazine out just askly quic as you would other circumstances. senator yee's bill seeks to ban that mechanism. he introduced it in may. i talked to him last night. he said he did not see a lot of enthusiasm for it at first. people did not want to take on the gun lobby over something like that. he actually started watering down the bill somewhat. he amended it. then after the colorado shooting happened where you were dealing with a large capacity magazine and assault rifle, suddenly there was renewed interest. he reamended it back to the original configuration and also
got an endorsement from the state attorney general this week and is going forward with it now. that is not the only piece of legislation. a group of bay area lawmakers introduced legislation dealing with ammunition sales. any vendor who is selling or otherwise furnishing more than 1,000 rounds to a single individual within five days would have to notify police of that sale within 24 hours of reaching that 1,000 round number. this is an effort to crackdown on sales. the alleged colorado gunman had in excess of 6,000 rounds. he amassed in a relatively short period of time. there is a bill that is pending since january to add long guns to the already existing ban on the open carry of unloaded handguns. a law that just took effect. >> what does open carry mean?
>> open carry -- by most accounts, it is an expression of second amendment rights that people took as a means of showing it is illegal to conceal carry. you have to through through an a permitting process and a lot of people get denied for conceal carry. the law did used to allow for carrying an unloaded handgun openly, meaning on your belt where it is visible in public places. a gun enthusiasts started showing up in public places having meetings with their guns. that got banned. some started showing up with shotguns. they are trying to ban that. >> a question about this. you said because of the shooting, it has a better chance of passage. our memories tend to be short in this country. >> indeed. >> how quickly will they get it through? is there enough impetus to do it fast? >> for senator yee's bill, it is
a good thing the session is drawing to a close. because he introduced it in may and it had gone through committee and it has been amended and re-amended, it has to go back to the senate and it is pending in the assembly. the bill first introduced this week, probably more of a long shot before the legislation adjourns. by the time we get back in the next session, who knows where people's minds will be. >> i talked to the pro tem. he said look, trying to ban these kinds of weapons in the state of california is foolish. he said you should not try. he said we should try for the things where we put reasonable regulations on these things and enforce those reasonable regulations. the problem is, the other side which is to say the people that support the unlimited use and carry of guns, don't support any of this stuff. >> i talked to a couple of
second is amendment rights enthusiasts and attorneys actually today. they were basically saying i think the california rifle and pistol association said it best. for their side of the argument, which is none of the bills would have done anything to keep crazy people from committing crimes. to some extent, that's true. there have been a lot of calls for expanding mental health checks on people who are buying guns and ammunition. the fact is, the weapon that was used in colorado is something that would have been banned under the old federal assault weapons ban which senator feinstein is trying to revise and the gun that jammed is a very high-capacity magazine that we probably would not be able to have here in california under the existing law. >> well, thank you very much, josh. let's move to another legal
battle happening in california. between two tech giants. apple and samsung. the drama is playing out in the san jose courtroom. laura, what is the lawsuit about? >> you can trace it back to the late steve jobs who was so furious about the android system and samsung phones because he felt they were coping apple design. he said i'm willing to go thermonuclear on this. he felt these phones ripped him off. i brought my iphone. i'll show you the patents we're talking about. if you go into your phone here and you have the contents. you see there is a bounce like that. that bounce, apple says we have a patent on that. this was discussed today in court, this particular patent. in fact, the samsung phones,
they had this for a while. i believe you have one. >> i have a samsung phone. >> should this thing bounce as well? >> it did. it no longer does as a result of what is going on in court. so, they are fighting over things like this over the shape of the phones. you will notice your phone has rounded edges and it hashis kind of nice rectangular shape. they say they have a patent on that. there is no doubt that apple makes elegant products and after the iphone came out in 2007, you started to see other smartphones look like it. the question here really is whether or not just because they were inspired by the iphone, does it mean they violated the patents? that is what they are fighting about in court. this last couple weeks, each side has 25 hours to make their case. the judge put limits on this. apple has been bringing in
design experts and showing how they came up with the designs and they were original. samsung will try to counter back saying they were not original designs and they were inspired by other designs. i have gone back and looked at previous patents. patent examiners have a couple of days to decide if something is original. some of apple's patents may not be. >> it is not just apple suing samsung, samsung is counter suing. >> they are. the thing about the companies is they walk around with the big satchels of patents. they spend millions of dollars to buy patents. samsung has patents that are considered essential to all phones. they have to license the patents. if they are standard in the industry, you must license them. apple is saying -- samsung is
saying you are not paying us enough and apple is saying you are not paying enough. normally these giants will settle these cases. in these cases, i think because we are going back through the history, apple is not willing to settle. >> one of the things is i was talking to a patent attorney at a law school. this is not about patents. this has become a strategic weapon against competitors to keep their products out of the market or gain advantage that has nothing to do with innovation or really to do with improving the product. it has to do with disciplining your competitors in a way that they simply cannot get around. >> i think there is some truth that what you are saying. we are seeing a lot of that. i'm sure apple is not up to this here. if they can keep other people out of the market, it gives them an advantage or if they make it more difficult for samsung to design around them.
it gives apple the reputation of being an innovator which apple wants. you need to remember steve jobs saying greood artists borrow an great artists steal. i don't know if i want to be that jury sitting there. i think the judge offered them coffee this week when looking over the patents. >> keeping them awake. >> in the end, you know, we were talking about consumers. unfortunately, these suits costs hundreds of millions. >> will that impact consumers' bottom line? >> where will they put it? in the price of your phone. >> and choice. >> there have been some injunctions put on some of the samsung products. >> thanks, laura. it is fascinating to watch this legal battle play out in the courtroom. speaking of battles, in less than two weeks, san francisco will host the america's cup
world series. it is one of several races leading up to the america cup finals which will be held here in the bay. to learn about what we can expect, i headed to pier 80 to see about the oracle. how do assemble the racing boat with the 20 meter hardwing sail? it takes a big crane. and a lean and fit shore crew. this sleek catamaran will be front and center at the america's cup world series regatta. one sailor who is intimate with the speed is john kostecki. how does the world series differ from the america's cup that will happen next year? >> the world series is very similar to the america's cup. the america's cup, we'll be sailing exclusively here in san
francisco in 72 foot boats with the hard wing. the ac 45s that we're sailing in the world series are a smaller version of the boats racing in the america's cup. >> what are the differences of the size and speed? >> well, actually, the ac 72s are, you know, a fair amount bigger and more powerful and obviously faster. ac 72 will go up to 70 knots. >> there has been a lot of secrecy of the design and construction of the boats. has the technology changed a lot in the last few years? >> yeah. the concept of the boats have changed. we used to sail single haul boats with a keel attached to the bottom of them to keep the boat upright. catamarans, two hauls, wide platform, no keel, very light boats with a lot of sail area.
very fast speeds. >> one thing i wondered is how much of winning a race depends on who has the fastest boat and who has the best strategy. does that play a role? >> speed helps. we put massive amount of hours and effort into creating boat speed. we have a large design team and we're working on boat building techniques and whatnot to design and build the fastest boat. you still, you know, you never know what you will end up with at the end of the day. hopefully your boat is faster. you have to have a great sailing team and sail fast and smart around the race track. >> what about your role on the crew? what do you do? >> i am a tactician. on the ac 45s, everybody does a bit of everything. so the tactician role is more of a secondary role.
on the ac 72, we do a bit of everything as well, but we are more specific roles and we will do more tactician roles on that ac 72. >> you are the mastermind. you tell everyone what to do? >> where to go on the race course really and helping the helmsmen direct the boat and take into account the winds and waves and currents and make decisions. >> how will this race be different from other races? >> past america's cups have been sailed far offshore. to view them, you have to get into a boat and watch them. this one, you will watch the race right on the city front next to the city and we're going to be right up and down the shore line. >> does that make it anymore dangerous for you as a competitor? >> yeah, there is a combination of a few things to make it dangerous. these boats are fast and light.
the strong winds here in san francisco and the course, yes, is a lot shorter. there will be a lot of close maneuvering. a higher risk level and danger level. >> that makes it more exciting for the spectators? >> absolutely. spectators like to see the danger and every once and a while a few crashes. we'll be having those out there. >> i heard there are less competitors this year than people thought. what is driving that? >> unfortunately, the european economy has gone through a downturn and i know for sure that's hurt the numbers out there. you know, we're hoping to have five to six boats for the america's cup. and there will be two boats in the america's cup in september of 2013. >> you actually are a native. you grew up here? what does it feel coming back to
your home turf to race? >> to have the america's cup on your home waters is basically a dream come true for me. so, i'm pretty excited and really looking forward to racing next year in the america's cup. >> i wish you the best. >> thanks a lot. >> wow. how exciting. i can't wait. you can watch the america's cup world series here in the bay from august 21st to the 26th. that's our show for tonight. i want to thank your guests, josh, tom and laura for coming on the program. i would like to remind you to visit and share your thoughts about our program. i'm yul kwon. belva davis returns next week. in the meantime, have a wonderful weekend and good night.
gwen: the incredible shrinking presidential campaign. is it always this messy or is it just august? tonight, on "washington week." nice words on the stump -- >> is a choice between two fundamentally different visions about how we move this country forward. >> i believe we're on the verge of an extraordinary rebound in america's economy with good jobs and rising incomes again. gwen: down and dirty on the air. >> she passed away in 22 days. i do not think mitt romney realizes what he's done to anyone and furthermore i do not think mitt romney is --ed. >> under obama's plan you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job.
gwen: drilling down with mitt romney accusing the president of encouraging dependency. >> president obama in just the last few days has tried to reverse that accomplishment by taking the work requirement out of welfare. that is wrong. if i'm president, i'm put work back in welfare. gwen: and the president accusing romney of robbing the poor. >> it's romney hood. they have tried to sell us this trickle down tax cut fairy dust before and guess what, it does not work. gwen: the biggest open question is who will run with romney? the short list shrinks. covering the week, john harwood of cnbc and the "new york times." beth reinhard of "national journal," and jeff zeleny of "the new york times." >> award-winning reporting and analysis. covering history as it happens. live from our